Houston has plenty of fun dining options for residents who find themselves with a case of the munchies. But until now, there hasn’t been a single full-service restaurant in the city where you could go to actually get the munchies. That has all changed with the September opening of Wild Montrose, which now offers Houstonians the city’s first entirely legal cannabis-infused dining experience from inside the former digs of UB Preserv.
The concept is the latest project from “hemppreneurs” and cousins Adyson and Andrew Alvis, who are also the minds behind coffee shop and CBD dispensary Grinder’s Coffee Bar in West University, and Wild, an upscale, Bali-inspired coffee shop, bar, lounge, and boutique dispensary, located in the Heights.
With Wild Montrose, the Alvis’ inspiration is multifaceted. Design-wise, the restaurant takes its cues from the duo’s travels to key coastal hotspots around the world, including boho and buzzy locales in Thailand, Indonesia, and Mexico. In keeping with its beachy inspiration, the restaurant definitely sports some strong Tulum vibes through furniture, decor, and an assortment of both faux and living tropical vegetation that will make you feel like you’re trapped (in a totally pleasant way) inside a travel influencer’s TikTok.
Inspired by Amersterdam’s world-famous coffee shops, Wild Montrose also includes an on-site dispensary, where the CBD and THC products offered can be perused and purchased. But to appeal to demographics who might feel out of place in one of the city’s sometimes sketchy headshops the space feels as clean, fresh, and well curated as the most pristine of museum gift shops.
“The concept was created around legitimizing CBD and making people feel comfortable in the space,” Andrew Alvis said. “Our goal was to legitimize it [CBD and THC products], and to make it feel kind of top notch, like you aren’t going there to do something wrong.”
On the food side of things, the Alvises have partnered with Houston-based executive chef, German Mosquera, a veteran of the city’s hospitality scene who recently spent four years in the Heights crafting standout vegan fare at now-shuttered Verdine. At Wild Montrose, Mosquera has continued his characteristically out-of-the-box thinking through the creation of a food menu that is destined to generate more than a little buzz. However, dosing consumables with CBD and THC (the restaurant is allowed to legally use cannabis products that stay below 0.3 percent of hemp-derived Delta-9) in a restaurant setting—in a state where marijuana products are not widely legal—obviously comes with some unique challenges.
“It’s very layered.” Mosquera said. “We’re providing different ingredients that are dosed to highlight different dishes. We pre-dose the dishes according to what agent we’re using. There’s been a lot of math and a lot of science that has gone into this to make sure it’s safe.”
When it comes to the non CBD-infused food at Wild Montrose, Mosquera, a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef who has studied with master chefs in both America and in Europe, has leveraged his over 18 years of experience in the kitchen to deliver a menu to Houston diners that will take them on a culinary journey across the world’s diverse coastal regions.
Several dishes on Wild Montrose’s highly creative food menu promise to become quick favorites, including large plate options such as the Japanese BBQ, a leviathan offering of coconut tare-glazed octopus with kohlrabi, shiso, and garlic chive fried rice; as well as choice small plates like the upscale boneless chicken wings, which come stuffed with ginger, cabbage, and pork belly—all drizzled in a sweet and funky caramelized fish sauce. There’s also a spin on migas on the brunch menu made with chorizo crafted from Iberico pork (an uber-savory dish inspired by Mosquera’s culinary training in Spain) that promises to take your brunch experience to new heights—even more so if you opt for an infused experience.
While Mosquera’s menu can stand on its own, all of the food items on the menu come with the option of being served either “virgin” or infused with CBD or THC by way of hemp-infused butter, avocado oil, or honey. Pre-dosed edibles and bon bons are also available, as are tempting desserts like the croissant bread pudding.
In addition to food, the restaurant boasts coffee and cocktail programs similar to the ones at its Heights location. THC-free cocktail options at Wild Montrose include breezy tropical offerings like the Pandan Coolada, a funky mixture of Pot Sill Rum, pineapple, pandan, and lime. There’s also the dramatic Wild Dragon, a juicy medley of rum, cointreau, falernum, dragon’s blood, lime, and pineapple that comes to your table with a sugar cube garnish that has been fittingly set aflame before it’s doused tableside through an avalanche of cinnamon powder.
Wild Montrose also offers alcohol-free, CBD- and THC-powered elixirs, and there are also plenty of beer and wine options available for those looking for a more traditional kind of buzz and who aren’t wanting to get too wild. But we recommend leaving your inhibitions at the door and going all in if you’re looking for the full Wild Montrose experience.
“I think the whole goal, in at least creating a space where people are comfortable, is that you really want to transform their feelings when they walk into the space,” Andrew Alvis said. “We want guests to leave everything outside the front door and to feel like they’re not in Houston. The smell, the taste, the sound, everything is fully immersive for them. That coastal kind of vibe is really about relaxation and getting away.”